Ponta do Altar Lighthouse, Ferragudo

Lighthouse · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Ponta do Altar Lighthouse (Farol da Ponta do Altar) is located in the Ferragudo parish of the Lagoa municipality in the Faro District of Portugal.
The lighthouse, of unusual design, consists of a small square turret attached to a one-story caretaker's house. It supports a red lantern on its terrace. The house, often compared with the appearance of a small schoolhouse, is painted white, with exposed stones and a red tiled roof. It is located on a promontory, used since prehistory for pagan rituals, on the eastern side of the entrance to the port of Portimão, about 7 km south-west of Lagoa. In recent years the attractiveness of the site has been impacted by the construction of a tall, cylindrical grey concrete communications tower, which dwarfs the lighthouse.
The Ponta do Altar Lighthouse was first proposed by Ricardo Peyroteu on June 21, 1884. It started operations of 1 January 1893. The tower is 10 meters high and 2.7 meters wide. The original light was white and used oil as the fuel source. It combined with two smaller lights at the ends of the two moles at the entrance to Portimão harbour. In 1948, the light was changed to a red one with a range of 10 nautical miles. In 1954, the energy power was converted to acetylene gas and in 1976 the lighthouse was electrified, although gas was still used for the light until 1983. In 1992, the Ponta do Altar lighthouse was automated, using a system supplied by the Gisman company, being then controlled by the Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente near Sagres. In 2001, the colour of the light was changed back to white, with a range of 16 nautical miles. It uses a fifth-order Fresnel lens.
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Ponta do Altar Lighthouse reviews

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27 reviews
  • Park your car at the lighthouse car park. The lighthouse itself is not accessible and therefore of no interest, but a walk from there to the centre of Ferragudo and back (8 km in total) is wonderful.....  more »
  • It's just a working lighthouse, nothing much to see. Not worth a special trip. We got lost and went to have a look as we were right there anyway.  more »
  • We visited place in the end of September. Great views of cliffs and grottoes, Portimao and Ferragudo. We had a car and park near lighthouse. Also seen this place from the ocean during our Caves and...  more »
  • Lighthouse open for public tour once a week, check for times. Stunning views down the coast from here. Very scenic cliff tops for walking and cycling.
  • Great experience.Amazing views .good write up about the history of the lighhouse on the front plaque
  • Nice place overlooking caneiros beach on 1 side and ferragudo portimao and Praia de rocha on the other
  • Best View love it
  • Beautiful place with a nice lighthouse. Amazing view It has wonderful views over Praia da Rocha and the east and west coast of the Algarve.

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